A Pack of Lies

"The Reverend Canon Kingsley cries History is a pack of lies."
—Bishop Willkin Stubbs

Marc Ferro sets out to broaden our horizons. He picks 14 countries (or sometimes ex-countries) to tell us "the vision of the past which is proper to each." By "proper" he clearly does not mean "correct," for he puts his stamp of approval on precious little of what his survey turns up. Usually Ferro delves into the elementary or secondary school textbooks of his chosen countries. Sometimes he com pares two different versions of the same history—as, for instance, the version of Armenian history that is taught in the schools of Soviet Armenia as against the version which Armenian exiles teach to their children—or, again, how Islamic history is taught to children in Iraq compared to the less "Arab" emphasis when the same tradition is presented in Egypt, and also compared to the quite anti-Arab version which goes back a long time in Iran.

Other countries that Ferro covers include South Africa, India, Trinidad, Poland, the Soviet Union, China, Japan, and the United States (including our Black, Indian, and Chicano history). One must commend Ferro for setting out to see the world from all these different points of view. He tells us that he enjoyed doing so and that he plans future editions of this book with broader and deeper coverage....

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